The Association for the Advancement of Rights for Fairytale Creatures (AFC)
At October 25th 2014 I attended AFC larp in Hamilton. In a nutshell all the characters are fairy tales, and once a year they meet to discuss about the fairy tales’ rights. You can find the larp at the book Larps From the Factory (http://larpfactorybookproject.blogspot.ca/p/welcome.html)
The game was hosted at the organizers’ house around a big table. We had 21 players including me, and all of than were dress up in nice costumes. I was invited to the game the day before, so I didn’t had the chance to came up with a nice costume. My character was the Big Bad Wolf who shares a curious and interesting relationship with the Little Red Rodding Hood.
Behind the idea of fairy tales and magical places, the game talks about democracy framed in a very interesting way. All the characters come to the meeting to discuss issues related to their jobs such as pay rates, subs, and etc.
Most part of the game characters are sitting around a table discussing about motions. At the very begging I was not sure about the game’s dynamics and I felt lost. During the entire game players were passing pieces of paper around, and it was like a second layer of playing. It was the Little Red Riding Hood who brought me to the game because she started to chat with me through pieces of papers. We chat a lot, and it was very fun! Also, there were the Robert’s Rules (http://www.robertsrules.org/), which I guess everybody knows about except me because nobody explain it before the game. This rules help to administrate the motions’ discussion, and it took me a while, during game, to figure out, how this rules work.
The agenda for the night was:
- The princesses have been covering for each other without getting the Board’s permission beforehand.
- Inclusion of the Eastern fairytale creatures.
- The extras are complaining about confusion on their part as they are not told ahead of time what fairytales they will be participating in.
All the characters designed for the games were present:
- The Which/The Evil Stepmother – Chairman of the Board
- The Big Bad Wolf – Vice Chairman of the Board
- Goldilocks – Secretary and Treasurer of the Boarding
- The King – Deputy of the Board
- The No Way Princess
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Magic Mirror (organizer character)
- Beanstalk jack
- The Princess of the Pea
- The Prince
- The Evil Stepsister
- The Other Evil Stepsister
- Peter Pan
- Snow white
- The Giant/Ogre
- Sleeping Beauty
- Fairy Godmother
The group spent lots of time discussing about if the princesses were allowed or not to cover for each other. Also, there was a rule forbidden people to drink alcohol at the table, which in fact there were, and The Prince came up with the punishment for break this law: spanking the person at the butt and he or she can choose who is going to deliver the punishment.
There was an in game break where people can try to persuade other characters to vote for than. During this time I was trying to be physical with strong body language; I was pursuing the women characters specially the Little Red Riding Hood because my character likes to scary than. Little Red and me kind of played cat and mouse during the entire break.
There is a comedy mood involved in this game, and I think it went well because The Evil Stepmother player was very serious about leading the Board. Also, all the players were their character the entire time, which helps create an immersive and focused experience.
The last item on the agenda was the elections. We spent many hours discussing other issues and when we were almost out of time, somebody came up with the motion to skip all the topics and move to the elections, which was approved. The election started with the Deputy chair, and the Ogre won the function. People was anxious to vote for the Chairman, and most of than want to take The Evil Stepmother out of the board’s leaders. So, we skipped the Treasurer and Vice Chairman to vote for the Chairman, and then the fun part came. During the game Goldilocks was responsible to count the votes in favour and against. When the time comes to vote for the Chairman, she miscount the votes several times and started to recount. Also, when someone say something, she said she can’t concentrate with so much noise and started recount again. Clearly she was buying time, so the game will end and the Evil Stepmother, Goldilocks, and The Big Bad Wolf will keep their positions. When I realized she was doing this on purpose, I started to disturb her, and it works the game ends and the three of us kept the positions =].
There are two interesting things about this game. First, we had four men dress up as women, which I didn’t see very often in larps organized in Brazil. Second, only during debrief people realized I wasn’t a native speaker because they thought I was faking my accent, which is kind of interesting.
The first time I read this larp I wasn’t very excited about it, but I’m always up to play anything. I wasn’t expecting much about the game, but four days afters the game I realized the potential of larp, and how it is totally related to the players. In the nordic larps there is a concept called Bleed: “Bleed is experienced by a player when her thoughts and feelings are influenced by those of her character, or vice versa.” (http://nordiclarp.org/wiki/Bleed) Now, I can assure I never experienced bleed before because I experienced during the AFC larp. Since I decided to move to Canada lots of decisions, expectations, assumptions, and efforts are in the stake, and after the game I realized how deep the larp experience I had touched this efforts, specially related to expectations. Two days after the larp I was emotionally sensible, which is very uncommon for me, and I had the same physical reaction I had one time during a psychoanalysis session. Freud talked about transference, and in a nutshell it can be described as the feelings that a patient project on the psychoanalyst figure believing that those feelings are really towards the analyst, but it is actually towards another person. For example, a patient who yelling at the analyst thinking he or she is an awful person, but the feeling is actually towards his/her father. The person who project usually don’t see as a projection and believe it is a true feeling, which is not in the sense that the feeling is not towards to the analyst. So, let’s go back to the game. Four days after the game I realized how bled I was from the experience projecting my own feelings towards the experience and thinking it was real. The game provided an opportunity for myself to explore and make contact with my expectation about Canada, unfortunately the feelings at the moment were not true, but at least for 3 days I felt they were real.
The game is very interesting, and I had lots of fun. I heard that one of the players is creating a following up larp, which will be the next meeting after five years. I’m definitely eager to play the sequel!